I once traveled a road wide and interesting
There were many who walked with me along this road
We walked and talked and appeared to care for others
We did our duty as far as others could see
We performed out tasks in wide open arenas
We were praised and congratulated and welcomed
everywhere we went

Then one day on my knees
I met a different Master
I fell beneath His embrace
repented for my sins
acknowledged His Sovereignty
and wept until I was cleansed

When I arose
I was totally different
different motives
different hopes
different attractions
different loyalty

I was now loyal to the King
and the Truth He spoke

The days were different
There were no longer people to walk with me
There were not stories to share
or hugs or tears with others
There was just me and God
I was no longer welcomed in the palaces of religion
I wasn't offered food or comfort, peace or joy
I was told that I was wrong and evil
I was lied about, slandered, ignored, despised
and the Cross was extremely heavy
and yet,
there was a Peace which was mine
which I had never known before
which welcomed me into God's Presence
and allowed me to stay
fixed on Him
listening to His every word

These are the days of trial
You will be tested to see if your affection
is for the world and its lures
or if you have a heart for the Master

You can't go both ways
You can't harbor with the wide road walkers
and still be intimate with the Holy One of Israel
He forbids it

I believe that a new family will arise
from the outer streets, the vacant lots, the subway stations
the schools of learning, the back talkers, and those
who have been dismissed by the churches
as being rebellious to their format and ways

I knew a Rebel once who did not fit into the system
I know HIm quite well and He still does not fit
He wears a cloak of Righteousness
and He sings a different song
than the churches of tolerance sing
He displays His Love to all
and doesn't look for the smug,
in-your-face religious piety
What He looks for
what He counts as worthy
what He longs for
is the glance of a child
the words of repentance
the submission of the heart
the hand in His
and what a Journey He has planned

I propose
that there are people out there somewhere
who have been forbidden entrance to the churches
who have been treated unjustly
who have been abused, sexually, physically, spiritually
who have been slandered
who have been judged
who have been ignored
by the churches
who would welcome family in a new, caring way

The doors of the churches may look open
They may appear to be the friendly ones as you approach
They may offer you free coffee, a handbook, a smile
but as you enter
there is something UNDERNEATH
which will one day be exposed
which will eat you alive
destroy your hope, your future, your faith
and leave you outside
barely breathing

How different is the Father than these organizations?
He is altogether different
for He has something which they lack